Marc Andreessen famously said “software is eating the world”. Yet most of our software development project teams and organizations simply are not set up for us to take part in this revolution. Why? Our organizational surroundings are directly responsible for inefficient design and delivery – locally-optimized silos, opaque and ossified power structures, multi-layered middle management, command-and-control executives – the failings are well known.
People and team member management for Agile project management and Scrum software development teams.
The market keeps talking about cultural change, that will help us be better at what we do. We have Agile, Scrum, teal organizations, holacracy, sociocracy, NVC and all other similar concepts. But is there anything all of those organizations have in common?
T-shaped skills is a metaphor used to describe people with deep vertical skills in a specialized area as well as broader but not necessarily deep skills in other areas. This is a base for cross-functional Scrum teams, but people can resist this. Learn why and what you can do to change this.
Many people, even the people supposedly using Agile, have too much work to do. You have project work. You have support work, formal for customer support or sales, and informal for your colleagues. You have reports to write or file, time cards to fill out, or other periodic events. You know your multitasking is slowing down your work, making you crazy, and making it difficult to deliver your best work. You need a way to say no to more work.
Agile and Scrum were supposed to free us from management: self-organized, cross-functional teams who get stuff done without that old-guard hierarchy. In this fauxtopia, some software developers were more equal than others. Can we get the healthy parts back without the Lumberghs? To bring back healthy engineering management, we must first de-mystify and de-stigmatize the concept of management.
Imagine you are asked to sit in on a team’s sprint review and retrospective. The team has been having difficulty forming and the Scrum Master has asked you to observe the team dynamics during these two sessions. Are you simply going to watch what’s going on or is there more you can do? Perhaps you are seeing interactions and team dynamics at play without truly realizing what you are observing.
If metrics like lines of code or code coverage are widely known by the software development community, measuring the joy of a software development team is certainly something more rarely discussed. In this article, Doc Norton proposes a simple way to asses the happiness of your software developers using the quality of your existing code. With this, you can lower your Scrum team turnover and get hints for refactoring needs.